The Old Testament is relevant to New Testament believers. In fact, the Old Testament anticipates the New Testament. It was the Old Testament, you remember, that predicted a new covenant. God said, I'm going to make a new covenant in Jeremiah with the house of Israel. Not like the Old Covenant. There are some people who think that the Old Testament has lost its relevance.
In fact, they might think that about the Bible overall. Well, today on Connect with Skip Hiting, Skip shares why the Old Testament and all of scripture is as vital as ever for your life today. But before we begin, we want to let you know about a resource that helps you see how God works powerfully through all the circumstances of your life. Life is hard and then we die. That is a harsh but accurate philosophy. Listen to this gentle encouragement. But God.
That's right. In the most difficult circumstances, God can intervene as he did for Joseph, Job, and through the resurrection of Jesus. Here's Skip Hiting. In fact, there may not be two more hopeful words than these two words, but God, because they point us to the great interrupter, the one who can powerfully and graciously interrupt our life with his plans and change our lives forever. We want to help you understand some of the Bible's most profound but God moments so you can have more hope for change in your own life. Pastor Skip's 10 message teaching series, But God, is our thanks when you give $35 or more today to help connect more people to the only one who can radically change a life.
Get your But God CD collection today when you give online securely at connectwithskip.com slash offer or call 800-922-1888. Now, we're in 1 Corinthians, chapter 10, as Skip Hiting gets into today's message. So the big idea in chapters 8, 9, and 10 of 1 Corinthians, by now you know it so well. It's the idea of liberty, Christian liberty.
What can I do as a Christian? The Bible's pretty clear what we can do as believers and what we can't do as believers. Old and New Testament is pretty clear. It's not ambiguous. However, there are some activities that would be considered not black and white but gray areas.
They're not clearly delineated. For some, it might be what music they listen to. For others, it might be can I smoke a cigar or a cigarette.
For others, can I have a drink or not. And for them, in those days, it was can I eat meat that has been sacrificed at an idol temple and then sold in the common shambles, the meat market, because for some people, that was a huge no-no. For others, it was not a big deal.
It was not a big deal because to them, they had full knowledge that there is only one true God and that all the other gods and goddesses are fake. It's all fake news. They don't exist.
People made them up. And yet, Paul says, yeah, but not so fast on that one. Even though you have knowledge and even though you have liberty, and by the way, we do have liberty. Let's just establish that we are free in Christ.
We are not under the law of Moses at all. We have freedom. We have been set free from the law. And we have a relationship that's dynamic with God, a relationship with the living God. But though that is true, Christian liberty comes with Christian responsibility. Liberty must be balanced out with responsibility.
Responsibility to whom? I'm glad you asked. First of all, to God. We want to glorify God and ask ourselves, is this area that I am questioning, does that glorify God? Second, does it edify other people? I guess third, does it amplify the word and work and truth of God in my own life?
Is it beneficial for me? So these are considerations that Paul is writing to the Corinthians about because to them, this eating meat sacrifice idols was a big deal. Not a big deal to us in America.
Still a big deal today in India and Sri Lanka and lots of Asian countries where idolatry is rampant and there are still food sacrifices to idols. So for Christians living in those countries, these chapters are very germane, very pertinent, very contemporary and relevant. To us, we emerge with a principle.
But in chapter 10, Paul wants to make this point and he made the point last time we saw this point. He said, though you might have liberty, you have to be careful that you don't abuse the liberty that you have. And the example he uses for the abuse of liberty is none other than the children of Israel. They were liberated. They were given liberty from what? From bondage in Egypt. Slavery, a physical slavery.
They were in bondage to the Egyptians. God gave them liberty from the physical bondage of slavery. They abused their liberty once they were in the wilderness with idolatry, with craving after things, with not being happy with the provisions of God, complaining at the provisions of God. So they abused their liberty. Now you and I, likewise, have been given spiritual liberty. We're not under the law of Moses. We have freedom in Christ, freedom from our sins, freedom from the demands and dictates of the religions of mankind.
But we also can abuse our liberty. So that's the idea behind the first few verses of chapter 10. To remind you, let's just read quickly through them. Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers, Jewish forefathers, were under the cloud, that's the Shekinah cloud in the Old Testament, all passed through the sea, that is, the Red Sea, when it opened up. They were all baptized or immersed into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. All ate the same spiritual food, that's the manna. All drank of the same spiritual drink, for they drank of that spiritual rock that followed them, and that rock was Christ.
All of that was explained last week. But with most of them, God was not well pleased, for their bodies were scattered in the wilderness Now these things became our examples to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted. We should not abuse our liberty like they abused their liberty. If you go down to verse 11, he picks up on that and says, Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, or instruction, on whom the ends of the ages have come. That verse is a very important verse, and it really stuck out to me as I was reading it again this week. All those things in the Old Testament that were written about were written for our instruction, our admonition, upon whom the end of the ages have come. So, the Old Testament is relevant to New Testament believers.
That's the general truth in that verse. The Old Testament is relevant to New Testament believers. In fact, the Old Testament anticipates the New Testament. It was the Old Testament you remember that predicted a new covenant. God said, I'm going to make a new covenant in Jeremiah with the house of Israel.
Not like the Old Covenant. So, the Old Covenant anticipates the new. Or as Augustine used to love to say, and I've quoted it so many times, the new is in the old contained, the old is in the new explained. That is, the New Testament is contained in part in the Old Testament, anticipated by the Old Testament, predicted by the Old Testament. It's contained in types and in figures and in prophecies. Then we get to the New Testament, we see all the fulfillment of that. And the Old Testament is explained by the New Testament. So, something is happening right now on the other side of the world. Something that people just think, wow, that's strange.
But those of us who are Bible believers, we're going, I know it's happening. It is the fact that 190,000 Russian troops are on the border of Ukraine about ready to enter in. In fact, reports are many of those have already made an incursion beyond the borderline and are in Ukraine. So, we know a few things about Russia. We know that Russia, for example, is run by Vladimir Putin, who has been in charge of that country since 2000, so 22 years.
It's not like an American presidency of four years and maybe eight, but they're in for the long haul, like a lot of world rulers are. And so, when they make political moves, they don't play checkers like we do, they play chess. They think strategic moves down the line, depending on who's going to be in office in the future, on the world scene.
They've got that figured out. So, Russia with Vladimir Putin, it's a very wealthy country. It's a country that has a huge military machine, nuclear capabilities, world influence, allies on its side, and it has a plan with nations around it. So, for example, in 2008, Russia invaded the Republic of Georgia, not the state of Georgia, the Republic of Georgia on the other side of the world. I was in that country and they explained to me how that invasion, that incursion took place.
That was 2008. In 2014, the Russians also invaded Ukraine so that they could annex Crimea the following year in 2015. So, they have, in the past, this tendency to want to take land that used to be part of the old Soviet bloc. It's always been Putin's idea to rebuild the ancient Tsar Soviet Republic, the Soviet Union, like it used to be, and get more land.
It's always been in his sights. The question is, with Crimea, with Georgia, with Ukraine, is that it or is it just the beginning? Well, that's where it gets interesting, because Vladimir Putin and Russia have had an interesting relationship with Iran for a number of years now.
How so? Well, it was Russia that helped build the very first nuclear facility in Iran. Giving billions of dollars to this day every year, a couple billion dollars worth of arms are sold to Iran every year from the Soviet Union, from Russia. Right now, in Iran, a thousand Russian scientists are working on that nuclear capability. In Syria, we know that Russia has interest in the Middle East because they have a port in Syria.
I'm trying to remember the name of this town, but it's in the northern part of that town. There's a Russian seaport, and it's a permanent seaport. It's a huge naval base for their naval operations. So we know that they have an interest in the Middle East. They have a footprint in Syria. They have funded Iran. Iran is the largest state-sponsored exporter of terrorism on planet earth.
Iran has said they want to destroy Israel, and they want to destroy the United States. But there's another party that's interesting, and that is President Erdogan in Turkey. Let me go back a little bit in history. For 600 years, the Turks ruled the world. The Ottoman Empire ruled the world. In fact, at its zenith, the Ottoman Empire controlled a million square miles on three different continents. The Ottoman Empire came to an end in the mid-1900s because of the West, put an end to it, established the state of Israel, the territory of Jordan.
They kind of carved out the Middle East to what they thought were amicable solutions. Turkey has never forgotten that. At one time, Turkey was a moderate country and a place where it's a beautiful country, by the way. I've been there a couple of different times.
It's gorgeous. But it was moderate politically. But Erdogan has definitely moved it toward a radical Islamic state.
He leans in that direction. What makes it interesting is that there is this political alliance between Russia, Iran, that funds stuff going on in Syria and Lebanon, and Turkey. Now, all of that is interesting because of a prophecy in the book of Ezekiel.
Remember what he said here. All these things were written beforehand for our instruction, our admonition, upon whom the ends of the earth have come or ends of the age have come. In Ezekiel, and now I'm turning to the prophet Ezekiel, you can either turn there or not or just keep in mind this prophet. By the way, 27 percent of the Bible is prophetic.
That's about a third, right? Twenty-seven percent, almost one-third of the entire Bible is predicting the future. God, through the prophets, predicting the future. About half of those predictions, our past tense, have already been fulfilled. About another half, we're waiting for them to be fulfilled.
But because half have been fulfilled, pretty good indication the rest are going to be fulfilled, especially when you look at the detail. So in Ezekiel 36 and 37, it talks about the rise of Israel. Keep in mind Israel has been kicked out of its land. It went into captivity. God promised they would come back.
But in chapter 36, let me just give you a quick rundown. Verse 8, it says, But you, O mountains of Israel, you shall shoot forth your branches and yield your fruit to My people Israel, for they are about to come. For indeed I am for you, and I will turn to you, and you shall be tilled and sown. I will multiply men upon you, all the house of Israel, all of it. All the cities shall be inhabited and the ruins rebuilt. That presupposes a destruction of sorts.
It presupposes a return into the land to rebuild it. I will multiply upon you man and beast, and they shall increase and bear young. I will make you inhabit it as in former times and do better for you than at your beginnings. Then you shall know that I am the Lord, yes? I will cause men to walk on you, My people Israel. They shall take possession of you, and you shall be their inheritance.
No more shall you bereave them of their children. So God promises a restoration, a repopulation, even a spiritual restoration at the end of that chapter. But in chapter 37, we have an image, a picture of that principle. The principle is given in chapter 36, or the promise is given of Israel coming back into their land, being strengthened, repopulating it, inhabiting it, growing stronger, producing fruit, etc.
Chapter 37 is a prophetic image of that. Verse 1, the hand of the Lord came upon me and brought me out in the spirit of the Lord and set me down in the midst of the valley, and it was full of bones. And He caused me to pass by them all around, and behold, there were very many in the open valley indeed.
They were very dry. And He said to me, Son of Man, can these bones live? So I answered, O Lord God, you know. It's a good way to answer God when He asks you a question that you're not sure is the right answer, right? Lord, you know all things.
What is it? Again, He said to me, prophesy to these bones and say to them, O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus says the Lord God to these bones, surely I will cause breath to enter you and you shall live. Most of you are familiar with His vision of the dry bones.
What He sees in the vision is the bones coming back to life, the sinews, the muscles, the flesh, and it grows into a strong army. Verse 11, chapter 37. Then He said to me, Son of Man, these bones are the whole house of Israel.
They indeed say our bones are dry, our hope is lost, and we ourselves are cut off. When would Israel have ever said that? Well, they would have said that in the Babylonian captivity. They would have said that previously in the Assyrian captivity. They would have said that at the fall of Jerusalem and the incursion of the Romans and the destruction of the temple and the banishment of Jews from the land during 70 A.D. They would have said that in World War II when six million were slaughtered in the ovens of Nazi Germany.
There were a lot of times that they could say, we're done, we're kaput, it's over. Therefore, prophesy and say to them, thus says the Lord God, behold, oh, my people, I will open your graves and cause you to come up from your graves and bring you into the land of Israel. I'm going to bring you, as it were, back from the dead. I'm going to resurrect you as a nation, and you'll be strong again in the land that I gave to your forefathers. Great. We've got the promise.
We've got the picture. We keep moving on in Ezekiel, and you say, I thought you were teaching 1 Corinthians. I'll get there. It's a short chapter, so I'll get there.
We covered half of it already. Chapter 38 of Ezekiel, we come to a challenge, and this is where it gets interesting and contemporary. Now, verse one, the word of the Lord came to me, saying, Son of Man, set your face against Gog of the land Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal, and prophesy against him and say, thus says the Lord God, behold, I am against you, oh, Gog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal. I will turn you around, put hooks in your jaws, lead you out with all your army horses and horsemen, all splendidly clothed a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords. Persia, Ethiopia and Libya are with them, all of them with shield and helmet, Gomer and all its troops. The house of Togarmah, Togarmah from the far north and all its troops, many people are with you, prepare yourselves, be ready, you and all your companies that are gathered about you and be a guard for them. The chapter, chapter 38, describes a coalition of armies that gather together at some point, it's never happened before in history given the names, and will come from the north and sweep down to attack and invade the nation of Israel, the chapter goes on to say. What's interesting is the people that are mentioned in this chapter.
First of all, in verse 10, thus says the Lord God, on that day it shall come to pass, thoughts will arise in your mind and you will make an evil plan. You will say, I will go up against a land of unwalled villages. Israel always had villages around its cities, around its towns, but today they don't.
Today they're unwalled villages and towns because it's a modern culture, a modern society, very, very wealthy one, I would add, who dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, having neither bars nor gates, to take plunder, to take booty, to stretch out your hand against the waste places that are again inhabited and against a people gathered from the nations who have acquired livestock and goods, who dwell in the midst of the land, Shiba Didan, virgins of Tarshish, all their young lions, on and on and on. The coalition mentioned here are between a few different interesting names. The names in antiquity are given in this chapter.
Let me give you their modern counterparts. First of all, there's Russia. That is Magog, Meshech, Rosh, all of that are areas to the north of Israel and the far north, the area of Russia. Persia is mentioned. That's the ancient name for Iran. Also in verse six, Gomer is mentioned.
That's the ancient name for Turkey. So here the text says that at some point in the future, these countries that include today Russia and Iran and Turkey and others are going to make a coalition together. And that has never happened before.
Now it has happened. That's Skip Heisen with a message from his series Expound First Corinthians. Now here's Skip to tell you about how you can keep encouraging messages like this coming your way as you help connect others to God's word. The apostle Paul said that all scripture is God-breathed, meaning God inspired it and wants us to understand it even in today's day and age.
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Find more information on the broadcast page at connectwithskip.com. Join us next Monday as Skip Heitzig shares how God empowers you to have victory over your temptations. Make a connection, make a connection at the foot of the cross and cast all burdens on his word. Make a connection, connection. Connect with Skip Heitzig is a presentation of Connection Communications, connecting you to God's never changing truth in ever changing times.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-05 19:19:57 / 2023-03-05 19:28:45 / 9